The Good, Bad, & Ugly 2016 Customer Service Round Up

Last year, I did a year in review of top worst customer service interactions.

Some of them were pretty harsh, so I'm doing something a bit different . I want to showcase the good AND the bad experiences.

I'll start with the good…

At Sprouts Grocery Store - Will Trade Kindness for Free Bags

I was feeling pretty sick & wanted to get in and out without talking to anyone. I got to the counter to pay for my groceries and the cashier looked pretty upset, so I asked her how her day was- hoping for a short answer.
Cashier: Eh not great.
Me: I'm sorry. I hope it's almost over.
Cashier: It's not… some woman yelled at me today.
Me: It's okay- she probably has a miserable life.
The cashier smiled and gave me a bag for my groceries without charging me.

At a local sushi restaurant- Karma is a B

There was a clear path to the host table so I walked up to put my name on the list to be seated.
A man (standing at the side of the host table) steps in front of me, and aggressively shouts, "Did you not see me standing here? I was first." He turns to the host, "Did you not see me? I was standing right here."
The host calmly says, "No, I'm sorry, I didn't. I can help you first."
The man continues to complain loudly, giving me nasty looks.
Clearly I didn't see you, I wouldn't have stepped to the front of the host booth- do you not know how lines work? But I didn't say that because this guy was legit scary.
Later I talked to the hostto reassure him that he wasn't in the wrong, and the guy probably hates his life. The host smirked and said, "I put him at thesmallest table in the house."
I looked over to see the burly man struggling to eat the sushi off his plate.

At Safeway- Sucks to Suck

I was in line to get my breakfast sandwich- as I do at 7:15 in the morning, and I started loading my items on the conveyor belt.
The man in front of me puts a hand up and rudely shouts, "Excuse me." And continues to give me a nasty look.
It turns out I was blocking is view of the magazines. How inconvenient.
He was buying beer and Lays chips. I highly doubt he was looking at Cosmopolitan magazine.
Since the guy was burly and scary, the most I could do was a slow eye roll.
When I got to the cashier, he reassured that the man probably has a miserable life, especially if he's buying beer at 7 am.

Local Credit Union- You have a Pretty Name

I was on the phone with a local credit union, and was pretty distressed about something. I think the guy on the end of the line could hear the sadness and defeat in my voice because while he was helping me, he tried to cheer me up, "How do you pronounce your first name?"
I told him and he responded kindly, "That's a pretty name."
"Thank you," I sniffled.
Then he asked about my last name. I responded through sniffles, and he retorted, "That's really nice too."
I felt like a 10 year old being reassured.  I laughed though my sniffles because I appreciated the effort. My last name is long and difficult to pronounce. He was definitely just being nice.

Lenovo help- Backhanded Helpfulness

I had submitted a request to customer service regarding my laptop. With my warranty, I was promised a 24 hour turn around time, but I never received a follow up. I called up Lenovo services to ask about the status of my request. When I gave the agent the ticket number, he wasn't able to locate it.

Me: I don't understand. I submitted it earlier this week. Is there a disconnect in your systems?
Agent: No- there is no disconnect. Maybe you gave me the wrong number.
Me: (frustrated) I did not give the wrong number. Maybe you searched it incorrectly!
Agent: I typed in what you told me.
Me: This is so frustrating. I have an email confirmation!
Agent: I can't find it- it's probably the wrong number. I can set up another request for you and have someone come by to resolve your issue tomorrow.
I wanted to be upset, but the guy was so backhandedly nice. He helped fix my problem sassily, but effectively. I had mixed emotions, but he solved my problem, so I guess I can't complain.

Honorable Mentions

  • The North Face for standing by their warranty

  • That lady at Amazon that got me free one day shipping because I was her last call of the day

  • Livermore Cyclery for actually knowing about their products

Here's the bad…

At a wine bistro- Salt on Salt on Salt

The food came out exceptionally salty. The restaurant had added a layer of sea salt to an olive and burrata plate, and it was quite crunchy.
I called the waiter over and mentioned this to him.
Waiter: Olives are salty. They are a salty dish.
Me: But burrata isn't - why is that salty?
Waiter: Because we add a layer of sea salt on top.
Me: Ok… (sassy face)
Waiter: Let me get you another plate.
The waiter comes back and states sassily, "Here's the dish with no sea salt- still plenty of sodium though."
So riddle me this…why does it need more salt if it had plenty of sodium then?

Don't get me started on my Uber experiences.

Here's a recent one…
Driver: Do you have kids?
Me: No. You?
Driver: I have to find their mother first. Nobody wants to love me.
(Awkward silence)
Driver: Do you have a husband?
Me: No.
Driver: Why not?
Me: I don't know. (nervous laugh)
Driver: Do your parents care who you marry?
Holy smokes. Do you want my social security number while you're at it?

At a popular high end restaurant - Poor planning

I was told all of the specials were unavailable and only 4 of the long list of entrees were left. After asking if the restaurant didn't plan for the number of reservations, the waiter proceeded to argue and say it's not that the restaurant had poor planning. It was that everyone ordered the same thing. If a restaurant knows the number of reservations they have a given night, to me, this seems like poor planning. Also, send someone to the freaking Whole Foods to pick up more food - it's not like your food was farm to table any way.

 We ordered 2 drinks and 3 courses. The first course was salty and uninspired. The second was extremely salty and flavorless.When we told our waiter this he simply said "sorry" and didn't offer a solution.  The third was the only thing that was acceptable.

 At the end of the meal, we tipped 15%, which was significantly more than this experience was worth. The waiter picked up the bill before we left the table and made a face before he left. On our way out, we said goodbye to the waiter and he gave a glare and an eye roll. 

It was an expensive meal- and the service should have been better at that price point. Anyways, I sent a note to the restaurant (Snobby Foodie style), and they did what they could to make it right, which was nice… so A for effort? Idk, the food was still bad.

Whole Foods- I can't count

I got in the express lane because I didn't have very many items. I didn't count them because I was pretty sure they were under the limit. Preface: the entire store was empty- it was 7 am.

After checking out, the man at the register proceeded to lecture me about how I had to use the other line because I had more than the allotted items. I knew I had less items than the cap. Frustrated, I grabbed my items and walked out. I cashier followed me with my cart that I had forgotten and yelled- and you need put out the cart back where it came from.

  1. No one else was in any line in the store.
  2. I had 11 items- 4 less than the 15 cap. (I found this out when I returned to the store later that week… not knowing was killing me.)
  3. Why are you yelling at me?

And there you have it. 2016 wasn't too bad. 2015 was definitely a worse year for interactions. People are usually sassier when they're having a bad day. So maybe 2016 was a better year for people?

That PNW Life: Hood River

That PNW Life: Hood River

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